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Skye: The Island and its Legends

Birlinn Origin, History
Publication Date
06 September 2018
Available for Sale
Birlinn Limited
4pp b/w plates

Skye: The Island and its Legends

The Island and its Legends

This book is a fabulous treasury of legend and wonder; tales of monsters who dwell in lakes, of small people who trap humans in earthen mounds where time stands still; of dark, shape-shifting spirits whose cloak of human form is betrayed by the sand and shells which fall from their hair.

In the absence of a written tradition, for generations of Skianachs, these tales, handed down orally, contained the very warp and weft of Hebridean history. They take us far beyond Christian times, to the edge of the Iron Age, and interweave with threads from the wider Atlantic tradition of Gaelic heroic myth and legend.

Visit The Official Website for Skye, Lochalsh and Raasay in the north west of Scotland.       

Otta Swire was born in 1898 and spent many happy childhood holidays in Skye, where she became captivated by the island’s rich history of folklore and began recording them in notebooks. She had these formally published in 1949, after she had moved to Skye to live permanently. She died in 1973.

Ronald Black is a retired Senior Lecturer in Celtic Studies at the University of Edinburgh and former Gaelic Editor of the Scotsman. He is a book reviewer and broadcaster, and has contributed to a wide variety of newspapers and journals. He lives in Peebles, Scotland.

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